Spotting the mountain gorillas is one of the most jaw-dropping activities here accomplished via the stunning Gorilla Safari. You can easily spot this creature despite the fact that it is now a rare creature and all thanks goes to the successful conservation effort of the park. You can plan an amazing journey to Africa’s oldest national park; the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Virunga National Park lies in the Eastern part of DR Congo. It is accessible from Goma Airport if you travel by air. By land, you can travel to the park from either Uganda via the Bunagana Border or Rwanda via Gisenyi border.
If there is something that you will remember throughout your life, it will be your experience of spotting the Mountain Gorilla for the first time. And this is possible only via gorilla Trekking wherein your park ranger will guide you to reach the current site of a Gorilla family. This site keeps on changing as these creatures do not bother of the zones or borders. And if you are lucky to come to the park when they thrive within the park borders, you can spend 60 minutes in just watching them. This trekking is only specific to Africa; so do take this chance as you might never get it again.
Guided trek, mountainous landscape, rare, but a magical experience, and funny play of the creatures are some of the main features of this activity in the Virunga National Park.
It has the richest biological diversity in Africa with a variety of landscapes and ecosystems that create habitat for globally threatened wildlife species on the IUCN Red list including mountain gorillas, Eastern chimpanzees, Okapi and African elephants.
The diverse landscapes in Virunga National park include two active volcanic mountains, tropical and afromontane forests, glaciers and snowfields on the Rwenzori Mountains with savannahs plains in the rift valley floor, wetlands and eroded valleys have become the most admired place of exceptionally natural beauty in Africa. In fact it has been confirmed that most of the migratory bird species from Siberia and Europe such as Osprey hawk are attracted by the varied habitats.
The main tourist attractions in the park are the mountain gorillas. About 200 gorillas are estimated to inhabit the park’s dense forests some of which have been habituated for tourism. About 5 gorilla families have been habituated and most accessible with Congolese wildlife guides and rangers for tourists on their gorilla trekking safaris to the park.
In addition to mountain gorillas, Virunga national park is a habitat for 218 species of mammals. It is also a home to 3 great apes including the Chimpanzee, Gorillas and bonobo and 22 species of primate species have been spotted in the park. The park is also a home to over 700 birds, 109 reptiles’ species and amphibians and many endemic species of plants and trees.
Gorillas are the main tourist attractions and attract many gorilla trekking safaris in the park. Virunga national park has 5 gorilla families habituated for tourism. The park wildlife rangers and guides on a guided tour lead tourists to the gorillas in their natural habitat.
Gorilla trekking itself requires fitness and proper hiking gears; its important thing for tourists planning their gorilla trekking safaris to book a gorilla permit for Virunga with a trusted tour operator. There are more activities to do in the park such as wildlife viewing, bird watching, chimpanzee tracking, Mt. Nyiragongo hiking and canoeing.
There are tourist facilities in and outside virunga national park for the high end, mid-range and budget travelers. Those that are found far away from the park have means to transport their clients to Rumangabo the main gorilla trekking trailhead or Bukima patrol post for Mt. Nyiragongo hiking.